Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Mirror
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Politics and Activism

Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Mirror

Reasons Why Dr. Oz Shouldn't Be Trusted

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Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Mirror
TVWeek

In case you haven’t had the opportunity to switch on daytime television in the past six years, Dr. Oz is a licensed, very famous heart surgeon who hosts The Dr. Oz Show, which premiered its seventh season on October 9, 2015. Unfortunately, much like the Wizard of Oz, he is a man who rides on his title to perpetuate myths and make money off of the common folk who don’t know much better.

Who is Dr. Oz?

Mehmet Oz is a 55-year-old heart surgeon who was born to Turkish immigrants. He earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, obtained his MBA from the Wharton School, and his MD from University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine. From there, he published a book with his wife about heart surgery in 1998, and went on to start teaching at Columbia University in 2001.

Celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey began to endorse him, by pushing his articles and inviting him onto her show to talk. By 2003, he had garnered enough support to be offered his first television series, "Second Opinion with Dr. Oz." It lasted just one season, but in 2009, Sony Pictures Television offered him another television program opportunity, thus starting The Dr. Oz Show. Don't be so impressed by his credentials, though: much like Oprah’s other spin-off doctor, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz rapidly began gaining viewers, as well as distributing potentially harmful advice.

Why is he not a credible source?

He heavily endorses alternative medicine… while attacking innocent substances.

For those of you who don’t know, alternative medicine is a range of “medical therapies” that are not regarded as orthodox by official medical doctors. The reason it's called “alternative medicine” is because they do not have enough scientific support to prove if they are productive or not. Alternative medicines include herbalism, homeopathy, and acupuncture.

He performs Reiki in the operating room. Reiki is the process of laying your hands in specific areas of the body to release stress, by tapping into your life energies that flow through all living creatures. His wife is a Reiki master — someone who is highly trained in the arts of reiki. She influenced him to begin applying Reiki to his open-heart surgeries. Reiki is fine if you are looking for some stress release and are interested in looking into magic to do so, but Reiki has no place in the operating room… especially without patients’ permission.

In addition to tapping into the magical life force energies we all possess, Dr. Oz also endorses homeopathy. Homeopathy is the idea that diluted “active ingredients” can cure certain diseases, believing that substances that can make people sick can also make sick people better. Before you start quoting Paracelsus to me, homeopathy also believes in “water memory," which is the idea that water recalls how to heal certain diseases once those “active ingredients” remind it. Several studies have shown that homeopathy is no more than a placebo, but Dr. Oz swears up and down that it works… while endorsing the homeopathic products that his company sells.

On top of all the weird things he endorses, he makes strange claims against perfectly normal substances. He came under fire a couple of years ago for promising that apple juice was laced with arsenic. He even influenced some schools to stop providing it for students. Unbeknownst to most of the public, however, and apparently Dr. Oz, the FDA provided studies that showed that there was a difference between harmful inorganic arsenic and the harmless organic arsenic that was occasionally found in apple juice. Consumer reports suggested that while the level of harmless organic arsenic was high, there was not significant evidence of harmful inorganic arsenic.

He promotes reparative therapy.
Reparative therapy is the ideology that homosexuality is a mental illness that can be cured with the proper therapy and treatment. He promotes this despite the fact that the Diagnostic Statistics Manual, regarded as the Bible of psychological illnesses, hasn’t endorsed the idea that homosexuality is a mental illness for over 40 years. Homosexuality is also considered a healthy mentality by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and others, and that trying to convert homosexuals can be very harmful for them.

He overuses the term “miracle”.
He started to promote green bean coffee supplement as a “miracle” to weight loss. No need to work out or change your diet, just take the green pills that he will oh-so-conveniently sell to you. This is especially troubling, considering that he is a heart surgeon, and should be aware of the fact that ignoring diet and exercise can be very bad for your heart, as can adding a supplement that contains a high amount of caffeine.

He claims that chelation therapy is also a “miracle.” Chelation therapy is performed to “remove heavy metals from the body for patients who suffer from heart disease,” but can have serious medical repercussions such as dehydration, calcium deficiency, increased enzymes that can be dangerous to the liver, and damage to the kidneys. It has also led to deaths in children and physically frail people.

He believes that the endive diet — a specialty diet developed by Andrew Li — is the miracle to preventing ovarian cancer. He supports this diet despite the fact that most ovarian cancer societies have debunked this diet as a myth that’s trying to take your money.

He uses the term “miracle” so often that he’s managed to get his own term named after him — “the Dr. Oz effect.”

What’s “The Dr. Oz effect?"

It is used to refer to the sudden spike in sales that alternative medicine and supplement companies would experience when Dr. Oz promoted a particular product because of the “miracle” label. Now, it has started to become the term to refer to companies and doctors debunking these “miracle” titles he slaps onto things, and generally indicates a product that is not supported by scientific evidence.

Who supports the notion that he’s not a credible source?

A lot of fellow doctors and heart surgeons have been rallying against Dr. Oz, some of them calling for him to be removed from Columbia University, a few going so far as requesting his medical license be revoked. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stands against Chelation Therapy. The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance debunked his endive diet. The National Institute of Health has claimed that reiki is not a credible form of medicine. The FDA is against his statements of apple juice containing arsenic. The APA and DSM oppose his stance on reparative therapy. Are you sensing a pattern yet?

Why is Dr. Oz a problem?

Dr. Oz is an issue that I am concerned about because 73% of daytime talk show audiences are female. Advertisers generally target women ages 18-49 for their products during daytime television. Dr. Oz is broadcast in 118 countries and currently has over three million viewers and yet he stands behind alternative medicines that are not supported by scientific evidence and opposed mostly by credible sources.

Where can I find credible sources for medicine if not Dr. Oz?

Websites like WebMD, MedicineNet, the National Institute of Health (Medline), and the Mayo Clinic all have valid websites that are endorsed by credible sources. If you’re concerned that these provide medical solutions that are too “chemical-based”, they also have portions of their website dedicated to alternative medicine. Or, you can look into Young Living, as they encourage the balance of their product with healthy diet, exercise, and medicines if necessary. If you really want to look more in-depth into “healthy living”, please talk to your personal doctor.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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